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piano recital

MAO FUJITA

Grieg, de Séverac, Chopin, Prokofiev, Mozart, Schumann

After last year’s highly acclaimed Beethoven violin sonata cycle with Marc Bouchkov, pianist Mao Fujita returns to Verbier with a recital putting a spotlight on the poetry and crystalline clarity of his playing.

Programme

EDVARD GRIEG (1843-1907)
Six Lyric Pieces Op. 43

DÉODAT DE SÉVERAC (1872-1912)
Les Fêtes from Cerdaña

FRÉDÉRIC CHOPIN (1810-1849)
Barcarolle in F-sharp major Op. 60

SERGEI PROKOFIEV (1891-1953)
Piano Sonata No. 1 in F minor Op. 1

Interval

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756-1791)
Twelve Variations on “Ah vous dirai-je, Maman” K. 265

ROBERT SCHUMANN (1810-1856)
Kreisleriana Op. 16

Grieg’s six op 43 Lyric Pieces of 1866, short character works, consist of Butterfly, Lonely Wanderer, In My Native Land, Little Bird, Erotic, and To the Spring, the much-loved latter encasing a darkly impassioned central section within exquisitely delicate outer ends. There’s a similar delicacy to de Sévérac’s ‘Les Fetes’ from his 1911 Cerdaña suite depicting the Pyrenees area between France and Spain, while its modal and pentatonic harmonies carry shades of Ravel’s Mother Goose of 1910. Chopin’s 1846 Barcarolle took this popular genre evoking Venetian boat songs into new waters with its sophisticated, dissonant harmonies and powerful climax. Prokofiev’s single-movement Piano Sonata No. 1, a teenage work from 1906, was also progressive for its time with its complex, constantly changing textures, dynamics and tonality. Then, while it’s a gradual virtuosic build-up over Mozart’s variations on the simple French folk melody, ‘Ah mother, if I could tell you,’ Schumann’s emotionally wild and structurally unconventional eight-movement Kreisleriana is lavish-textured from the get-go.